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Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

A move in Labor's favour in Essential Research this week, but further questions find support for a tougher regime on disability support and the government's handling of boat arrivals.

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The only new federal polling result we look to be getting this week, the regularly fortnightly rolling average from Essential Research, has Labor up a point on two-party preferred to lead 53-47, as the bad result which saw them drop two points a fortnight ago washes out of the system. On the primary vote, Labor is up two to 40% and the Coalition down one to 39%, with the Greens and Palmer United steady on 9% and 6%. We also have Essential’s monthly leader approval ratings, which have Tony Abbott down one on approval to 34% and steady on disapproval at 58%, Bill Shorten down two to 36% and down one to 39%, and Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister shifting from 40-36 to 37-34. Other questions find approval of the government’s handling of boat arrivals up two since March to 41% and disapproval down three to 35%, with 27% thinking the government too tough, 18% too soft, and 36% “taking the right approach”. Another result suggests paring back the disability support pension to be a relatively popular cost-cutting measure, with 46% supporting recent recommendations to that effect and 37% opposed.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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941 comments

941 thoughts on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

  1. William Bowe

    Gloryconsequence on the previous thread:

    [When was the last Essential with a 40 ALP primary?]

    Three weeks ago. Essential consistently has the minor parties lower than other pollsters, so this result isn’t unusual.

  2. zoidlord

    I blame older generation for picking on Disabled.

  3. Astrobleme

    Zoomster

    “I would have thought that the hypothesis – the Green share of the vote declines the closer one gets to an election – is pretty sound, given the results in the lead up to the last two elections.”

    Have you looked at more than two?
    To get beyond observation and get to theory, you need to offer an explanation as to why.

    And it is different to your first statement, which was that the Greens would do worse at the next election than in 2103. Unless you already know that their polling in 2016 will be lower than in 2013, so will therefore (by your hypothesis) poll lower in the election.

  4. ruawake

    The majority of people in favour of the change to the DSP were 55+ and unaffected by the changes.

    People will always be in favour of keeping people a rung of the social ladder lower than themselves.

  5. Astrobleme

    Zoomster

    Did your observation hold for the Senate by-election?

  6. zoomster

    Astro

    oh, whoopie doo- I’m not writing a PhD on this, you know, just looking at whether the polling at present means – as several posters here have been suggesting – that Labor should get all in a lather about losing votes to the Greens.

    Based on past polling compared to actual election results, they shouldn’t.

    As for looking at whether the same holds true for other elections (as I believe it does, with -as Jackol has pointed out – the possible exception of the exceptional WA Senate election) you’re just as capable as I am of trawling through Newspoll.

    (Always easier to attack an argument than do the actual research yourself, though…)

  7. victoria

    This from SHY

    [153 frightened & anxious asylum seekers including dozens of children are being held on a prison ship by the Abbott Government. Shameful.]

  8. Rex Douglas

    The prison ship is better for them than Morrisons death camp on Manus.

  9. ruawake

    Wow thats some amendment from Clive.

    [The Palmer United Party is finalising details of its emissions trading scheme and expects to bring an extraordinary 300-page amendment to the Senate next week.
    The amendments will halt the abolition of the Climate Change Authority (CCA), allocate new money to the agency and put it in charge of monitoring climate action by Australia’s five major trading partners.
    And as key details of the scheme emerge, Palmer United leader Clive Palmer has warned the government not to try to pull the wool over the eyes of his inexperienced senators.]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/clive-palmers-party-readies-its-emissions-trading-scheme-20140708-3bk4f.html#ixzz36qrBk51t

  10. deblonay

    Watch for dramatic events in Egypt
    _________________
    The Egyptianm dictator Sisi,has taken away subsidies on 25 essential items,including petrol.tea,coffee.bread,power and gas…and many others,causing great hardships to the poor and lower income groups

    This may trigger massive outrage and many demonstations

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/07/egypt-economy-poor-mehleb-sisi-austerity-consumer-protest.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=5a0cd6beeb-July_7_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-5a0cd6beeb-102299065

  11. Jackol

    I would suspect the relatively favourable disability support change response would be people hearing “permanent disability” (ie “people in need”) would be treated one way and some hand-wavey “non-permanent disability” (ie “bludgers”) a different way.

    The actual consequences of the actual government policy are quite a different matter. I did like how the question talked about “current or future capacity” to work – so people who actually can’t work now could be chucked on to Newstart and everyone would be fine with that? And, as many have said, the ‘capacity’ to do some work is one thing, but actually finding an employer willing to take them on is quite another.

    But, as I said, I suspect the respondents didn’t actually read the question particularly carefully or give it a whole lot of thought besides divvying up “worthy” and “bludger”.

  12. Astrobleme

    Zoomster

    [oh, whoopie doo]

    Clearly not PhD writing!

    Anyway. Just a thought for you. When the polling results come out prior to an election, the actual result can be either ‘on the money’, higher, or lower.

    The probability of each possibility can be determined (I believe) and so the probability of having two (or three) results where the result was lower can also be determined. This is the way I would look at this.

    If I said to you, at the last two elections Labor polled lower at the election than the pre-election polling, therefore Labor always polls lower at elections, would you find that particularly convincing of anything?

    And then to suggest this:
    [Based on past polling compared to actual election results, they shouldn’t.]

    When you don’t even know the future polling, is just weird.

    Anyway, I thought I was having a sensible discussion.

  13. zoomster

    [And it is different to your first statement, which was that the Greens would do worse at the next election than in 2103..]

    No, actually, it’s not.

    I’ve shown that the Greens polling diminishes the closer it gets to an election. To do as well as they did in 2013 (if the trend holds true, and I’ve admitted it’s all speculative) then they need to be polling much higher now.

    Again, look at the figures – 2012, 11-12%; 2013, 9-11% (with the lower figures closest to the election) final result 8.7 (with the period leading up to the 2010 election showing a similar decline).

    This should be the best period of polling for the Greens (all things being equal), just as it was after 2007.

    If all they’re managing now is 11.4, then at best they’re looking at equalling their polling in 2013.

    As I’ve said, I think there’ll be a further swing away from them at the next election – but that’s purely opinion, based on my observations of voter behaviour over the years, and some assumptions I’ve made about events between now and then, so it’s purely a guess.

  14. zoomster

    Astro

    one of us is using actual evidence to argue their case, the other isn’t.

    The evidence is out there. There’s a host of state election polling you can use. It should be easy to either confirm the trend (which has been remarked on over the years by others besides myself) or show that it’s nonsense.

    Go to it.

    http://newspoll.com.au/ is a good place to start.

  15. guytaur

    “@political_alert: The PM will hold a press conference with Japanese PM Shinzō Abe at 4pm #auspol”

  16. poroti

    deblonay

    Soaring prices for bread and cuts in subsidies for fuel was the trigger for the uprising that got rid of Mubarak. So I dare say it could be ground hog day.

  17. sceptic

    Senator Abetz fails to hoodwink PUP…..

    “What they had agreed was that they would bring all the bills out of committee – that would have been the nine. Then they just brought eight; we wanted the nine brought out,” Mr Palmer said.

    “Our whip [Senator Dio Wang] took the appropriate action and said he wanted the nine [out of committee].

    “They would have thought our guys weren’t experienced and didn’t know what they were doing, but they did.”

  18. Steve777

    Re Ruawake @4: People will always be in favour of keeping people a rung of the social ladder lower than themselves.

    This is true of some people, but not all. I think it is characteristic of those who vote on the Right Wing side. They see society in terms of hierachies:
    – Those who see themselves near the top want to defend their position.
    – Others, the aspirationals, want to climb up the greasy pole, passing as many of their fellow citizens as they can on the way up. They want to ensure that privileges currently enjoyed by the elites will be available for them when they arrive.
    – Others are just desparate to ensure that no one gets ahead of them. Especially, that they don’t to end up on the bottom of the heap. They want to have someone to look down on. These are the Alf Garnetts of the world. Right Wingers dogwhistle to this group, persuading them to vote against their interests.

  19. Jackol

    I think Zoomster’s eminently sensible point is that we have repeatedly heard crowing from Greens (and, back in the day, Democrats) supporters about how amazing they will poll in elections based on various bits of polling only for the Greens to turn in disappointing performance after disappointing performance.

    ie maybe a little less “we’re going to take over the world based on the polling in WA!” might be sensible

    For what it’s worth, unless Shorten suddenly turns into a majorly charismatic messiah figure (and I really don’t want to see any more messiahs) then as I said in the previous thread I would suspect the next election will be more like 2010 than 2013, and the Greens did quite well in 2010.

  20. zoidlord

    @Jackol/11

    Old people know what they doing, and that’s why the mcclure report only focused on the Disabled, it was all pre-planned.

    If liberals touched the Age Pension (apart form rising it to 70) (despite having more than 2 million on Age pension already), liberals will loose their core supporters.

    Coalition Party know what they are doing, and every single old person are in on it.

  21. ruawake

    […so it’s purely a guess.]

    An educated guess, don’t sell yourself short. Newspoll has tried a couple of different methodologies to gauge the Green vote, but seem to either underestimate or overestimate. Small sample size in non homogeneous electorates is my guess.

  22. zoidlord

    For Rummel:

    Retweeted by Tony Windsor
    Dame P FitzSimons ‏@Peter_Fitz 28m

    Tony Abbott’s government is ‘recklessly endangering’ the future on climate, says UK chief http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbotts-government-is-recklessly-endangering-the-future-on-climate-says-uk-chief-20140708-zszx4.html … via @smh

  23. Astrobleme

    Zoomster

    [To do as well as they did in 2013 (if the trend holds true, and I’ve admitted it’s all speculative) then they need to be polling much higher now.]

    Ok, this is simply nonsense. To say that their future election results is determined by their polling now is utter nonsense.

    [one of us is using actual evidence to argue their case, the other isn’t.

    The evidence is out there. There’s a host of state election polling you can use. It should be easy to either confirm the trend (which has been remarked on over the years by others besides myself) or show that it’s nonsense.}

    No, what you have is some observations, they’re not ‘evidence’ of anything.

    Why would you test whether the future election result is determined by polling 6 months from the last election? It just make no sense.

  24. Astrobleme

    Zoomster

    [so it’s purely a guess.]

    Yes, absolutely – and this is why no one will bother testing it.

  25. guytaur

    “@AndrewBGreene: Sri Lankan High Commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe tells @ABCNews24 his gov’t has no intention of accepting asylum seekers currently at sea”

  26. Astrobleme

    Ruawake

    [An educated guess, don’t sell yourself short. Newspoll has tried a couple of different methodologies to gauge the Green vote, but seem to either underestimate or overestimate. Small sample size in non homogeneous electorates is my guess.]

    That’s not the whole theory. Indeed there will be problems estimating the Greens vote. Zoomster’s theory/hypothesis/guess is this:

    [To do as well as they did in 2013 (if the trend holds true, and I’ve admitted it’s all speculative) then they need to be polling much higher now.]

    Which is just guesswork.

  27. Rex Douglas

    jackol #19

    I would expect a large ‘independent’ representation on the ballot papers at the next election which might offer some reasonably sensible options for first preference.

    I urge all voters to seriously consider their preferences in upcoming state and federal elections in the knowledge of less than acceptable performances from the major parties.

  28. victoria

    25
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 3:43 pm | PERMALINK
    “@AndrewBGreene: Sri Lankan High Commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe tells @ABCNews24 his gov’t has no intention of accepting asylum seekers currently at sea”

    That is an interesting development

  29. Just Me

    In effect it is already the practice that you only get the DSP if your limitations are clearly or highly likely to be permanent.

    IOW, what the survey respondents are supporting is already the existing situation.

    It is just another nasty beat up to provide cover for the government’s real intentions. And it is working, on at least some.

    A special thanks to Rupert for his role in that.

  30. Rex Douglas

    SHY now on her feet in the senate re the navy’s prison ships.

  31. Just Me

    [ “@AndrewBGreene: Sri Lankan High Commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe tells @ABCNews24 his gov’t has no intention of accepting asylum seekers currently at sea” ]

    Not “best friends” anymore?

  32. sceptic

    Interview with Mark Hoysted ( ex Liberal candidate ) prior to HC today… a reasonable Liberal ( endangered species )

    https://audioboo.fm/boos/2310126-mark-hoysted.mp3

  33. Rex Douglas

    Interesting to see a 5000 strong class action over the release of water from Wivenhoe dam a couple of years ago.

  34. poroti

    Just Me

    They could be the ones that left from India. If sow would India play nice with Abbott ?

  35. sceptic

    Its official…..
    Morrision is a Pirate

    “At a hearing in Melbourne counsel for the immigration minister Scott Morrison told the court that the boat, which was reported by refugee advocates nearly two weeks ago, was intercepted outside of Australian territorial waters and therefore not subject to laws under the Australian migration act.”

  36. Rex Douglas

    It seems navy prison ships are intended to replace detention centres… ?

  37. Just Me

    [If so would India play nice with Abbott ?]

    Are they best friends too?

    😀

  38. sceptic

    Will Navy / Customs be liable for illegal acts in international waters?

  39. sceptic

    forgot they can always use the Nuremberg defence.

  40. sceptic

    Liberal shit hitting the fan…
    From The Guardian..

    I’ve just spoken with Dr Joyce Chia, the Senior Research Associate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. She’s given her analysis on the issues raised in the high court proceedings so far. She says if the government cannot rely on the Maritime Powers Act to authorise their actions they would need to rely on the executive power in the Australian constitution. If this is the case, the infamous Tampa decision could end up being revisited which could lay the groundwork for a major reassessment of the scope of the Commonwealth’s executive power:

    It does raise the question if there was no authorisation under the Maritime Powers Act then the government do have to rely on executive power, and it would mean that the Tampa case could be revisited.

    The case also poses a real question about the rule of law in this country, the separation of powers and the breadth of executive power.

  41. Martin B

    I think it’s quite reasonable to think that, in general, Greens election results under-perform their polling results.

    OTOH all of the ‘Greens are dying’/’going the way of the Dems’ guff clearly has no basis in reality, other than the reality of some Laborists prejudices.

  42. guytaur

    Plibersek interview on 24 now

  43. sohar

    All Abbott’s ‘best friends’ are imaginary ones. He hears their voices so believes they exist.

  44. Astrobleme

    Jackol

    [I think Zoomster’s eminently sensible point is that we have repeatedly heard crowing from Greens (and, back in the day, Democrats) supporters about how amazing they will poll in elections based on various bits of polling only for the Greens to turn in disappointing performance after disappointing performance.]

    I don’t think I have ever seen crowing by the Greens here.
    Can you recall who it was?

  45. BK

    [The high court hearing is now recommencing. Both parties have agreed that the applicants will file a statement of claim within seven days and a defence will be filed a week after that. Justice Crennan has directed Merkel to prepare a note setting out what the parties have agreed on.]
    So does this mean the AS will be on the high seas for at least another two weeks.
    Are the prison ships provisioned for this one wonders.

  46. guytaur

    “@jkoutsoukis: 41 asylum seekers sent back to Sri Lanka by Australian government expected to arrive within next 20 minutes in Galle magistrates court.”

  47. daretotread

    Zoomster

    Quick analysis looking at william’s charts

    Now it seems

    2013: Greens polling was just above 10% but at the vote polled just 8.7% – OK evidence point one of a decline relative to polling

    2010: Looking at William’s graph greens were polling at about 12% with a couple of higher outriders. actual vote 13.1% which seemed to be very close to or slightly better than polling.

    2007: From William’s graph the greens looked to be polling about 7.5%. They achieved 9%.

    So on this evidence there is absolutely nothing to suggest there is any pattern.

    If you look at mid cycle data one year in then:

    2004-2007: Peak greens polling was abut 9% and they achieved pretty close to that on election (note greens in that period seemed to poll about 1% less than in the previous election cycle.

    2007 -2010: Greens on a slow but steady increase with a blip up in 2010 which was an artifact of the ALP tearing itself to pieces

    2010 -2013: greens steady decline, presumably as labor got its house in order

    2013- 2014: Steady increase with a blip in April- May.

    To the extent there is ANY pattern (and I am not sure there is) the Greens vote will come close to its apparent upward trajectory that looks at if it will hit about 12%.

  48. guytaur

    “@oliverlaughland: Questions from #highcourt153 1) Where will the 153 be held or taken in the interim?
    2) What access will lawyers working for them be granted?”

  49. poroti

    Just Me

    [Are they best friends too?]

    Of course, they just don’t know it yet.

  50. deblonay

    Re Greens pooll, in WA
    ______________
    Those here who are always seeing the demise of the Greens,seem to forget that at the last test of this …in WA senate Byelection…the Greens scored a record vote …I think from memory..!6%…so how do some see that remarkable figure…even giving that the Greens have STAR candidate in Ludlam
    My hunch is that we will see a record Greens vote in Vic in Niov from many indications that I see